Cross country runner races toward victory

Slap, slap, slap. His feet hit the ground. He breathes in; he breathes out. He must go forward; he has miles to go.
In the case of junior Mason Bivens, about 10 miles.
“I run anywhere from 72 to 75 miles a week, so that’s a little bit over 10 miles a day, and normally two hard days a week, which are like speed work,” Bivens said. “Then a long run on Sundays.”
Bivens is a cross country runner, and all that running is how he trains for the sport. According to his team members, all that hard work definitely pays off.
“He’s a very good athlete. He’s our best runner right now, so he really helps the team out a lot,” senior Taber Kaspereit, another cross country member, said.
Bivens’ competition results reflect that view. According to OHSTrack.com, he won first place in the 5K race in his division at the Carl Albert TITAN Cross Country Invitational on Aug. 30 with a time of 17:02.90. He also won the 5K in his division at the 20th Annual Edmond Wolf Run Cross Country Meet on Sept. 20 with a time of 16:35.85. Bivens placed second in the 5K race in his division at the 2013 Duncan Cross Country Meet on Sept. 7 with a time of 16:29.77.
“Mason is an exceptional athlete that works extremely hard and definitely puts in the time to be successful,” cross country coach Todd Ledford said. “He puts in a lot of extra time on his own which helps lead him to all of his success.”
Bivens has been in cross country since grade 6. He says that his dad was the one who got him into the sport.
“My dad used to run cross country, and he was pretty good back in the day,” Bivens said. “He got me into running.”
Cross country isn’t the only thing Bivens is a part of. He’s also in swim, track, band and National Honor Society, and he’s played soccer in the past.
He is also currently pursuing his private pilot’s license, and he plays two instruments, the trumpet and the piano.
With all of these activities, Bivens’ schedule can seem pretty crowded at times.
“Athletic stuff, [such as] cross country, takes a lot of time, and it took a lot of commitment during the summers every single day,” Bivens said. “And being able to do that and band, which requires quite a bit of practicing on your own, takes a lot of time management. It’s really hard to get everything done.”
Balancing all those activities may be difficult for some, but Bivens is ready for the challenges that may come his way.
“Nothing good comes without hard work, and especially not greatness,” Bivens said.